The Eurovision Song Contest 1997 was the 42nd of the long running light entertainment show, and it was held at the Point Theatre Dublin, Ireland, on 3 May 1997. Carrie Crowley and Boyzone member Ronan Keating were the presenters of the show.
American-led group Katrina and The Waves, representing the United Kingdom, were the winners of the contest with the song Love Shine a Light, written by that band's lead guitarist Kimberley Rew (whom didn't appear on stage), and Marc Roberts representing the host country came second with Mysterious Woman. Despite being the runner-up, it remarkably received only one 12-point score, which came from the United Kingdom.
The UK spokesman Colin Berry remarked: "You're going to like this one: Ireland, twelve points!" causing Terry Wogan to reply: "Well, tit for tat!" The winning song scored an unprecedented 227 points; it received points from all participating countries, including five sets of 10 points and a record-breaking ten sets of the maximum 12 points. Love Shine a Light is still regarded as one of the most successful Eurovision winners, and was the closing song in the medley that opened the 50th anniversary show Congratulations in Copenhagen in 2005, and the Eurovision 2006 semi-final in Athens. With this victory, the United Kingdom has five Eurovision wins and it is, to date, the country's last win in the Contest.
After the controversy over the pre-qualifier in 1996, the EBU introduced a new system for 1997: countries with the lowest average scores over the previous four years would be relegated from the 1997 contest, and those with the lowest averages over the previous five years would be excluded from future contests (save that every country so excluded for one year would automatically be allowed to participate the following year), with so many countries being omitted as would reduce the number of participants each year to 25.
Televoting was also tested in 5 countries (Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden and United Kingdom) with the remaining 20 continuing to use the juries.
Israel declined to participate, as the Contest was held on its Holocaust Remembrance Day, granting a reprieve to Bosnia and Herzegovina, which would otherwise have been excluded owing to its low point average over the previous four years. It would also be Italy's last appearance until its return in 2011.
|01||Cyprus||Hara & Andreas Konstantinou||Mana Mou||Greek||Motherland||5||98|
|02||Turkey||Şebnem Paker and Grup Ethnic||Dinle||Turkish||Listen||3||121|
|03||Norway||Tor Endresen||San Francisco||Norwegian||--||24||0|
|04||Austria||Bettina Soriat||One Step||German||--||21||12|
|05||Ireland||Marc Roberts||Mysterious Woman||English||--||2||157|
|06||Slovenia||Tanja Ribič||Zbudi se||Slovene||Wake up||10||60|
|07||Switzerland||Barbara Berta||Dentro di me||Italian||Inside of me||22||5|
|08||The Netherlands||Mrs. Einstein||Niemand heeft nog tijd||Dutch||No one has time anymore||22||5|
|09||Italy||Jalisse||Fiumi di parole||Italian||Rivers of words||4||114|
|10||Spain||Marcos Llunas||Sin rencor||Spanish||Without rancor||6||96|
|12||Poland||Anna Maria Jopek||Ale jestem||Polish||But I am||11||54|
|13||Estonia||Maarja-Liis Ilus||Keelatud maa||Estonian||Forbidden land||8||82|
|14||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Alma Čardžić||Goodbye||Bosnian||--||18||22|
|15||Portugal||Célia Lawson||Antes do adeus||Portuguese||Before goodbye||24||0|
|16||Sweden||Blond||Bara hon älskar mig||Swedish||If only she loves me||14||36|
|18||Malta||Debbie Scerri||Let Me Fly||English||--||9||66|
|19||Hungary||V.I.P.||Miért kell, hogy elmenj?||Hungarian||Why do you have to go?||12||39|
|21||Denmark||Kølig Kaj||Stemmen i mit liv||Danish||The voice in my life||16||25|
|22||France||Fanny||Sentiments songes||French||Sentimental feelings||7||95|
|23||Croatia||E.N.I.||Probudi me||Croatian||Awaken me||17||24|
|24||United Kingdom||Katrina and The Waves||Love Shine a Light||English||--||1||227|
|25||Iceland||Paul Oscar||Minn hinsti dans||Icelandic||My final dance||20||18|
- With the rule change of having optional instruments on stage, four countries revoked use of the orchestra entirely: Ireland, Austria, Germany, and Croatia.
- This was the first Irish held contest since 1971 which didn't feature Noel Kelehan as the musical director, as he was ill at the time of the competition.